St Teresa was born in 1515, as America was being colonized and the Protestant Reformation was about to begin.
When she was 16 her father sent her to the convent because she was a wild teenager. In the convent, not much changed. At the time, many women joined because they had no where else to go, not because they truly were called.
Convent life became a life of socialization rather than prayer: wealthy people were entertained so they could raise money, Sisters were sent outside the convent to cut costs and network.
And Teresa liked the friendships. She easily fell into this worldly life especially since she found prayer to be vastly difficult.
It wasn’t until she was 41 that a pious priest convinced her to be faithful to prayer even when it seemed impossible. Soon her prayer life began to flourish as God deigned to give her spiritual delights like laughter, levitation, union with God, and quiet.
She later reflected: “mental prayer in my opinion is nothing else than an intimate sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with him who we know loves us. The important thing is not to think much but to love much and so do that which best stirs you to love. Love is not great delight but desire to please God in everything.” At 43 she was determined to reform her Carmelite order into one of simplicity and prayer.
Far from getting support, she was denounced, threatened with the Inquisition, run out of towns, and left in the rain. But she kept on as if this was no difficulty at all.
She often said “May God protect me from gloomy saints” – which sums up the spirituality of her convent. Be obedient to God out of love instead of fear – instead of punishing yourself with penances, change.
She also wrote many books on prayer, the most popular being Interior Castle, earning her the title of Doctor of the Church in 1970 – one of two women at the time.
In this image, the Holy Spirit is in the form of a dove, shining His knowledge on St Teresa as she writes her books. She is holding Interior Castle, he book on prayer, and the castle of Avila is in the background. This was the kind of castle she would have imagined as she wrote about the all the rooms and fortification of the interior soul coming into union with God.
Printed on archival paper with archival inks, this print will last forever without fading, even with sunlight. The quality of the print is stunning because of the high resolution scan and robust printer.
Available in four sizes: mini 2.5×3, 5×7 and 8×10.
Shipped in a rigid cardboard mailer with cardboard backing. Sealed in waterproof plastic sleeve.
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